With the recent release of the iPad Pro 5th gen, there is no doubt that Apple’s top-of-the-line tablet series can rival most laptops. As such, it is only appropriate that you invest in a proper iPad Pro 12.9-inch case to keep your expensive tablet safe from daily wear and tear. Read on below to browse our favorite options from lightweight folio covers to heavy-duty defender cases.
OtterBox Defender Series Case
The OtterBox Defender Series Case might not be the most practically proportioned iPad Pro 12.9 case but it is certainly the most rugged. This makes it the go-to choice for protecting your tablet from everyday wear and tear. This case employs both an inner TPU sleeve to absorb shock from drops and an outer PC shell to absorb scratches. It is military-grade drop tested and has a built-in screen protector as well.
Its detachable PC shield is an optional third layer of protection that can snap over the front screen for storage or over the back to act as a kickstand. The detachable shield also has a slot to hold an Apple Pencil 2, which is nice since this case doesn’t provide easy access to the tablet’s Pencil charging dock. You have to open a side flap to access this, which is far clunkier than, say, opening the case’s rubber charge port cover.
If you can look past the added bulk and the high price tag of the OtterBox Defender, you will find that it is definitely one of the best protective options for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. But for now, keep in mind that OtterBox hasn’t released an official 5th gen version of this case yet, so you may also have to settle for an ever-so-slightly less than perfect fit.
Apple Smart Folio Case
Though officially licensed accessories tend to be a bit overpriced, the Apple Smart Folio Case is still a solid option for protecting your 5th gen iPad Pro 12.9 from everyday wear and tear. This case uses the iPad Pro 12.9’s built-in magnets to snap perfectly onto the back of the tablet, cushioning it against minor drops and scratches.
The folio cover is great for keeping the screen protected while traveling with your tablet in a bag, plus it automatically wakes your iPad Pro when opened and puts it to sleep when closed. It can also be folded backward to serve as a kickstand. Your tablet’s edges will be fully vulnerable to scuffs and scratches, though. Additionally, there is no place to store the Apple Pencil 2 other than sticking it to the tablet’s charging edge.
It comes in a nice variety of colors too, but whether or not that makes it worth the premium price tag is up to you.
ESR Sentry Series Stand Case
The ESR Rebound Series Stand Case is a snap-on folio case that adds both protection and functionality to your iPad Pro 12.9 by way of a PU leather folio and a small raised screen bezel. Not only does the folio cover protect your tablet’s screen in transit but it also folds back into a kickstand with nine standing angles. It also has a hole so it can be safely hung from a hook.
The Rebound case has a dedicated storage slot for an Apple Pencil 2. It is conveniently placed over the iPad Pro 12.9’s magnetic edge too so you can wirelessly charge it while you store it. It is an all-around solid choice.
Supfives 360 Rotating Stand Case
If you frequently use your iPad Pro 12.9 on the go, then the Supfives 360 Rotating Stand Case is a great way to keep this monster tablet safe against all of the dangers of travel. It has a multi-layer design comparable to the OtterBox Defender Series Case (albeit with a noticeable difference in quality) as well as several options for improving your grip over the device.
This case has a rear hand strap/kickstand that rotates 360 degrees, plus loops to attach an included shoulder strap. Both of these make the tablet significantly easier to use with one hand, which is an accomplishment considering its unwieldy size. And if you somehow still find a way to drop it, its three layers of protective materials will take the brunt of the impact. The case even has a rubber charge port cover and a dedicated Apple Pencil 2 holder that allows it to charge.
Speck BalanceFolio Case
The Speck BalanceFolio Case is a lightweight yet durable iPad Pro 12.9 case that stands out with some unique design innovations. This is the only folio-style tablet case we’ve come across that provides a magnetic flap to protect the iPad’s rear camera from scratches as well as a locking clasp that secures your Apple Pencil 2 when it is charging on the magnetic edge of the tablet. I’m surprised not to see either of these features on the official Apple cases at this point because they just make sense.
The front cover also folds back to act as a kickstand, which is something you should expect from any folio-style case. But while the snap-on protective shell inside is great for keeping your tablet snug in its case, it won’t do much against drops, especially with how smooth the outer material is. But as long as you aren’t looking for military-grade protection, the BalanceFolio is a fantastic iPad Pro 12.9 case.
Tensea Origami Case
The Tensea Origami Case is a versatile iPad Pro 12.9 case whose standout feature is its folding origami screen cover that acts as a multi-angle stand. The folio cover can be folded into a video mode, browsing mode, sketch mode, or typing mode, or you can just magnetically secure it over your tablet’s screen when it is not in use. The cover automatically wakes and sleeps the screen too.
However, note that neither the snap-on TPU frame nor the PU leather folio cover offers significant drop protection, as this is more of a slim travel case. One feature I do like though is that this case has a slot to store the Apple Pencil 2 on the left and a recessed slot on the right where you can use the tablet’s magnetic charging feature. This is handy when you don’t want this accessory to drain your battery.
Zugu Alpha Case
Don’t be surprised if the Zugu Alpha Case looks somewhat familiar. It is basically an OEM version of the ESR Sentry Case with a higher price tag. So the big question is: does the Zugu Alpha provide any extra features to warrant the higher price tag? That depends on how you value color options.
The Zugu Alpha comes in a variety of color options while the ESR Sentry only comes in black. It also has a two-year warranty that allows you to swap out for a new one no questions asked, which is certainly nice. Aside from these differences, this case shares the same pros and cons as the ESR Sentry. Outside of a flash sale or perhaps inventory issues, I would personally pick the cheaper ESR Sentry, but the Zugu Alpha is still a solid choice.
New Trent Rotating Stand Case
The New Trent Rotating Stand Case is a heavy-duty protective option that will secure your iPad Pro 12.9 against drops and scratches alike. It has a large, raised bumper frame in the style of the OtterBox Defender as well as a leather hand strap on the rear to improve your grip. The hand strap rotates 360 degrees and has a built-in kickstand (with a bottle opener for some reason).
The case is all-around sturdy and sports premium features like a rubber port cover and a built-in screen protector. It also has an enclosed compartment to store and charge an Apple Pencil 2. And the only real downsides of its design are its added bulk and the fact that it doesn’t lay flat because of the hand strap. Otherwise, the New Trent Case represents a budget alternative to high-end iPad Pro 12.9 defender cases.
MoKo Smart Folio Case
The MoKo Smart Folio Case is an inexpensive alternative to Apple’s Smart Folio, making it a tempting option for those who are interested in a no-frills cover to keep your iPad Pro 12.9 from getting scratched up. It uses the tablet’s built-in magnets to attach perfectly and the folio cover is able to automatically sleep and wake the iPad when you close or open it. It also folds back to function as a media kickstand.
But because of its lightweight design, this MoKo case isn’t the best choice for protecting from accidental damage. Its edges are exposed, which is great if you own an Apple Pencil 2 and want to leave it attached to the charging dock, but not so great if you want to take it along on a safari. Still, it is a solid deal for what it is.
Pitaka MagEZ Case
If you are looking for a protective case that you won’t have to remove to use with Apple’s Magic Keyboard, then the Pitaka MagEZ Case is an easy choice. This ultra-thin cover snaps on easily and protects your 5th gen iPad Pro 12.9 with about a millimeter of aramid fiber. It has just enough of a bezel to protect against face-down drops while still leaving room for the Magic Keyboard to fold over.
This case has a small notch to rest the magnetic Apple Pencil 2 while also allowing it to charge. And for added magnetic excitement, the case itself also has a metal plate so that it can work with magnetic mounts.
DTTO Leather Case
This DTTO Leather Case is a professional-looking case that adds both protection and style to your iPad Pro 12.9. It is a folio-style case that is made from PU leather and comes in a variety of colors. The front cover has a built-in document pocket on the outside and a hand strap on the inside. It automatically wakes or sleeps the iPad when it is opened or closed and, of course, it folds back into a kickstand for media viewing.
The snap-on bumper frame inside provides decent drop protection too. It has a built-in compartment for storing and charging an Apple Pencil 2 as well. It is definitely one of the all-around best iPad Pro 12.9 cases available
[U] by UAG Case
The subtly-named [U] by UAG Case is a sort of hybrid between your average folio case and your average defender case, making it a great option for those who want both functionality and protection for their iPad Pro. You get both a raised bumper frame and a grippy screen cover that folds back into a kickstand, so you can use your tablet anywhere without fear of cracking its screen with a slight drop.
The case is not quite as ironclad as the OtterBox Defender, mind you, but at the same time, it also maintains a fairly reasonable form factor. One feature that I really appreciate is the grippy texture of the folio cover, which makes it much easier to carry securely. When you factor in the Apple Pencil 2 dock on the side, this case really feels like a whole package.
Will a 4th Gen iPad Pro Case Fit the iPad Pro 5th Gen?
According to Apple’s iPad comparison tool, there is only a 0.5mm difference in depth between the 5th and 4th generation, which means that most iPad Pro cases should easily fit the 2021, 2020, and 2018 versions of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
They will not, however, fit the 2nd and 1st gen iPad Pros, so be certain you don’t have one of these before you order a case. If you aren’t sure how to check which version you have, you can follow the instruction in this iPad fit guide from Speck.
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